'Balingoan boy' Vera Cruz makes noise in Iligan chess
April 12, 2022 at 8:37 am, No comments
By LYNDE SALGADOS
The recently-held Araw ng Kagitingan 2022 chessfest in Iligan City won by Manila-based Fide Master David Elorta was also another triumphant journey for Misamis Oriental lad Quarl Maverick Vera Cruz.
Only 10-year-old, the Balingoan town native Vera Cruz pulled out some upset wins in the nine-round Swiss System event to finish above 50 percent performance with his 5.5-point total that earned for him the citation as best 14-under performer.
The gifted child started his campaign against older opponents by scoring a monumental upset against National Master Jerry Areque, who played board one for Manila Indios Bravos in the 2022 All-Filipino Conference of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines.
"Beating Areque is not an easy task even by seasoned chess masters in the land kay gahi nga player sa Manila," exclaimed arbiter Lorenzo 'Jun' Cuizon.
And to prove that his feat was no fluke, Vera Cruz followed it up by besting the top Iligan non-master Bobby Balabagan in the second round.
"I was there in Iligan. And though late na ko nakaadto i heard it all about the kid's dramatic conquest," said Cagayan de Oro's elite chess trainer Jaime Joshua Frias II.
Early last month, Vera Cruz also made noise when he played alongside Paciano Gulle to rule the 70th Araw Ng Balingoan Open 'Dalawahan' Chess Team Tournament in Balingoan, Misamis Oriental.
Local chess officials have seen the talent of Vera Cruz, considered as the future heir apparent of the Inobulan, Salay pride Richelieu 'Jongjong' Salcedo III, who showed potential as a child and quickly blossomed into becoming a full-fledged International Master, and now enlisted personnel of the Philippine Air Force.
WONDER BOY. 10-year-old Quarl Maverick Vera Cruz of Balingoan town is seen as the next chess master of Misamis Oriental province. (Photo courtesy of Mindanao Chess Files)